Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I picked up this theme, an Israel without the Jews, which the more I think about it IS the essence of the neoleft and Irish republican attitude to Israel.

I was late at night glancing through some articles, rather tired. I came upon one and it soon hit me that this guy was funny, but he was also incredibly succinct and “on the ball” in that laid back American way that not many people can do.

So I decided to stick it on blogger so that I can easily refer back and so that others can have a look as well. It is by Jack Engelhard, it was on Arutz Sheva on Dec 21, 2005 ( and picking up a phrase that Jack uses it seems to me that the “toy department of human life” is getting bigger and bigger, wonder why that is! Read it!

Chomsky's No-State Solution, And More on Munich
by Jack Engelhard

On the seventh day, around here, we rest for football. Smart couch potatoes stick to the game. News junkies, like myself, switch back and forth. There's the game, yes, but out in the real world, there's tackling and brutality going on without a referee; so, we cruise all the channels, but with the mute button at the ready just in case someone says something that might ruin our day.

That happened the weekend past when Alan Dershowitz debated Noam Chomsky at Harvard, televised on C-Span-2, our dial for culture. Whatever optimism I started off with was dashed between these two intellectuals, sparring on Israel v. "Palestine", and on top of that, the Philadelphia Eagles kept fumbling. No big deal, you say, but without sports ("the toy department of human life" - Howard Cossel or Red Smith), it would be politics all day long. So that's one end of the dial, football.

Along the other end, Dershowitz and Chomsky were going at it as if civilization depended on the outcome of their dispute, and maybe that is so.

To spare myself too much grief, I used the mute most of the time, but caught enough to hear (two-state solution) Dershowitz plead for reconciliation with (no-state solution) Chomsky, who stuck to his position that Israel should be a nation without an ideology, which would make Israel the only nation on earth without an ideology. Every country has one, has something upon which it stands. Here, it's liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and over there, in Iran, it's to wipe Israel off the map - but that is still an ideology.

On Chomsky, in particular, I figured, for a moment, that this entire campus generation could have been saved by the sounds of silence, courtesy of the mute button. My mistake when I kept the sound going and heard Chomsky persist with words that amounted to the famous "Three Nos" - no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel.

The trick here was to find something uplifting to save this day, because, from channel to channel, everybody was losing, including the Eagles.

The hot news of the moment is Spielberg. I know this because of all the hate mail I received after that piece I wrote. I found out that there are a lot of people out there who are in a bad mood, and not just on Sunday. E-mail junkies wrote in that I shouldn't judge beforehand. Well, don't we always? We are all pre-packaged. We buy according to the label.

Everything comes with a label, soup to nuts, and people, too. A Cadillac you know by name alone, and even Paris Hilton comes with a tag, her reputation. Do I really need to hear an entire speech from Jane Fonda or read Amira Hass? I know what's coming. Amos Oz was on C-Span-2 a while back and I tuned in for a few minutes, but the rest was Amos Oz, so, despite my sincere admiration for Israeli novelists, I muted him. (Something about "both sides have equal claims upon the same land" and I just wasn't in the mood, not from an Israeli.)

In case you think I'm picking on the Left - wrong. Israeli "hardliners" never appear on our TV here in the US, and I mean never, so there is nothing on this I can report or even mute. If they do show up, then they come across as "settlers" always griping and making trouble, just because they're being evicted from their homes, when, after all, they've been offered Alaska.

Anyway, Spielberg. They're talking about him and his Munich movie all over the dials. I got disgusted for all the bad publicity he's getting, which means good publicity, and I took the train to Atlantic City to bet a few horses at Bally's Casino, and I've got friends there, all liberals, but still friends, and they said they'd read what I wrote about Spielberg, and what did I think now? Had I changed my mind?

Yes, I had. This got them very excited, since they keep trying to convert me, turn me into Michael Moore, or as they say in Israel, Yossi Beilin. I said, "Spielberg is just another suicide bomber." (But with a camera.) I meant that and I mean that, but we're still friends. (I won the next race, so I made my point.)

When I got back, I turned the TV back on and realized, like an epiphany, that everything is about sales. Everybody's got merchandise.

I reviewed the last few moments of the debate between Dershowitz and Chomsky (taped), and guess what, they're also selling; yes, books, their books. But between all that, they're selling their ideologies. From beer to politics, it's all about getting you to buy something.

I thought Dershowitz won the debate, but that makes it worse. Why should there even be a debate about Israel's right to exist? (Nachmanides all over again?) Chomsky, it is clear, has a special ideology. He offers nothing except Israel without Jews. That is Chomsky (recently named the number one intellectual in the US) and that is his vision.

Tony Kushner shares Chomsky's vision, as per this quote that's making the rounds: "I wish modern Israel hadn't been born." Kushner is the man who wrote the script for Spielberg's Munich, and that comment alone is the movie and saves me 12 bucks at the Roxy.

Kushner, like Chomsky, is okay with a Jewish State, as long as it is not Jewish and it is not a state.

Incidentally, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is another Herzl compared to Kushner. Ahmadinejad at least offers to move Israel to Alaska. No such offer from Kushner, who is now stuck with a tag that precedes everything he touches. Correct, I did not review the movie. I reviewed Kushner. And his theme, along with Spielberg's, is that Israel has no right to defend itself. I read enough newspapers on this and don't need a movie.

A writer who approaches his work eyes wide shut deserves no box office, no respect. We know where he's going. Better he should keep his mouth wide shut.

Have you ever watched people dance without the sound? They look silly, right? Well, it's the same when people talk. Mute them, and it all makes much more sense.

Catch The Bathsheba Deadline, Engelhard's explosive newsroom thriller that's running as a serial on Parts 1 and 2 are available now for digital download by clicking here for part one and here for part two. The novel will run exclusively on with a new installment each month until completion.

No comments: